A five-minute guide to the Inner South’s thriving bar scene


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Today, we tip our hats to the very Canberrian task of budget wrangling (the federal budget, that is).

So, to all the civil servants, journalists and staff members who have spent the last 48 hours staring at a screen guessing our economic future – and who might need to relax a bit tonight – this guide is for you.


A long-awaited feminine take on the Canberra bar scene, Queenies offers the perfect place to unwind (or relax depending which way you want to go).

The menu emphasizes sharing and features native Australian flavors but with a twist of Asian fusion. It’s outrageously lush and decidedly quirky.



Looking for a wine bar that’s small in size but big in style? Head to Joe’s Bar where its intimate nooks invite you to sit down and connect over a drink or two.

An intriguing wine list balances Italian wines with a selection of local drops designed to complement Chef Francesco Balestrieri’s modern Italian menu. Five five!



This waterside gastro pub draws crowds with a simple recipe: good food, cold drinks and live music.

But despite rugby greats Ben Alexander and Scott Fardy as co-owners, The Dock isn’t just a sports bar – here the suits mingle happily with families and soccer fans. Head to the orange umbrellas and grab a bench overlooking Kingston Harbor.



This sprawling gastropub does a booming business, punters admiring views of Lake Burley Griffin while sampling pub classics and craft beer.

Take a seat outside to people watch with your pint, or take a seat by the breathtaking copper fireplace (there’s live music every weekend).



Drawing inspiration from the design of the building that originally stood in its place, Public is a modern take on a traditional pub.

Surrounded by greenery on the corner of bustling Franklin Street in Manuka, Public offers sharing plates and pub fare, making it the perfect place to relax, sit back and enjoy an afternoon of idleness.



The Realm’s Ostani Bar is an attractive year-round drink destination — the breezy beer garden is perfect for a summer sip, while a seat by the spectacular open gas fireplace is on pole position during the cooler months.

A menu of fine pub food and a list of creative cocktails complete the offer.



A “real” Canadian themed pub with hearty food and lots of sport. Between a game of pool or watching ice hockey, feast on poutine (fries loaded with cheese and gravy), mac and cheese balls with aioli or any type of burger. Wash it down with a beer from the motherland.



An old-fashioned English pub, The Durham – as it’s known for short – is a must for beer lovers, offering a rotating selection of Australian and international craft beers, as well as basic ales.

The kitchen serves delicious pub fare like steaks, burgers, and parmesan cheese, and Happy Hour runs from 4-6 p.m. daily.



The ‘Kingo’, as it is affectionately known, is one of Canberra’s oldest pubs, dating back to 1922.

With live sports, pool tables, two bistros, an outdoor courtyard and a cozy vibe throughout, it’s a classic corner pub. You can even cook your own meat at the Steakhouse!


Want even more inspiration?

Check out VisitCanberra’s Inner South Neighborhoods Guide here.

Featured image: Joe’s Bar. Credit: Adam McGrath, HCreations.


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